It is the last day of the year and I am sitting at my slightly wobbly dining table a.k.a work table, overlooking my cluttered book shelf typing this. Having just arrived from a drunken lunch at two different pubs and waddling through Bangalore’s traffic for three hours to reach home, I haven’t bothered to disrobe yet. I can hear the pesky crackers going off somewhere.
Outside my house, the omnipresent snake has made another appearance on the street. “It was just lying stretched across the street for an hour,” my neighbor tells me. Is it amusement or fear in her voice? I can’t tell. She is excited nevertheless. She has a story to tell.
Like I have had all this year.
I really have had a productive year telling stories this year. And travelling for it. And enjoying both. And I am ‘touching wood’ right now, for fear of jinxing my luck by ‘knocking on wood’ instead. I’d like to believe that it’s my hard work and perseverance that got me around but I don’t mind attributing a little of that success to luck. But if you had ever told me that I was lucky to do what I was doing, know that I hated you for it (in case I hadn’t made it clear as soon as you said it).
Either ways, I am filled with an immense sense of gratitude. For all the friendships I made (you know who you are, you), for the stamps on the pages of my passport (Switzerland, Sri Lanka, Russia, Mongolia, China, Japan, Poland, and Germany), for all the people in my life (acquired and existing) who are brimming with love and who show that generously from time to time and for generally being acknowledged every once in a while for what I do.
I am reminded of this Oliver Sacks quote right now that beautifully sums up my feelings.
My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved. I have been given much and I have given something in return. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.
As 2015 quietly slips by, I am going to contemplate on the book that I want to pick from my cluttered bookshelf. A new one perhaps; one that has only been unwrapped as soon as it arrived in the mail, flipped through and tucked away for later reading. Like that last year’s new year resolution. Whilst on the subject, I haven’t made any for myself this year – like every other year.
Also I have plans to eat the walnut studded Lebkuchen I brought from Germany for dinner tonight. May be I will also take a sip of the homemade limoncello I bought at a Christmas market in Stuttgart as well. I will raise a toast for all you lovely people.
May you all have a wonderful 2016. May you find loads of love, peace, happiness, prosperity and whatever it is that you look for in life. May all your dreams come true. May you work hard for it. May a little bit of luck favor you. Be well!